VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 28 December 2011: Israel's army chief hails Gaza war as 'excellent'

28 December 2011 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Residents of Beit Shemesh Fight Back Against Religious Extremism and Gender Segregation
IMEMC – Thousands of local residents gathered in the Israeli village of Beit Shemesh, protesting the radically changing demographic of their city by the ultra-Orthodox community. The group seem hell-bent on enforcing their values on the secular and moderately religious majority, by attacking immodestly dressed school girls, and attempting to enforce gender segregation in the public sphere. …

Right-wing Attack on Military Base Linked to Israeli Yeshiva Students
IMEMC – An investigation by the Israeli police has found that a group of right-wing Israeli students from Jerusalem organized a bus to enter the West Bank and attack a military base on December 12, to protest the planned removal of an illegal settlement outpost. …

Palestinian Killed, 11 Wounded, As Army Bombards Gaza
IMEMC – Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported that one Palestinian was killed and eleven others were wounded in two Israeli Air Strikes in one hour, which targeted Gaza City …

Addameer Calls Attention to the 443 Gazans Detained in Israeli Prisons
IMEMC – Press Release Ramallah, 27 December 2011 – On the third anniversary of Israel’s offensive on the Gaza Strip (27 December 2008–18 January 2009), Addameer reiterates its unequivocal condemnation of the Israeli policy that has denied residents from Gaza detained in Israeli prisons family visits for over four years. …

Ma’an News

Israel orders demolition of Jerusalem homes
12/28/2011 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces and municipality officials raided a number of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem to deliver warrants for their demolition, locals said on Wednesday. Soldiers escorted the officials to order the destruction of homes in Salaa, Wadi Yasul and Ein Al-Louza districts of Silwan, local committee for defense of Silwan land….

Israel approves 130 new settler homes in East Jerusalem
12/28/2011 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities on Wednesday approved 130 new settler homes in occupied East Jerusalem. Jerusalem municipality gave the go ahead to build three 12-story tower blocks in Gilo settlement, city councilor Pepe Alalu told AFP. The council also approved plans to build tourism centers in Silwan. Fakhri Abu Diab, head of….

Israel shells northern Gaza
12/28/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — An Israeli tank fired on northern Gaza on Wednesday, without causing damage or injuries. Forces launched an artillery shell which landed in an open area in the north of the coastal strip, a Ma’an reporter said. An Israeli army spokesman said he was not familiar with the incident…. Related: Army: 2 rockets fired into southern Israel

Israeli detains journalist in Nablus overnight
12/28/2011 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained a journalist from his Nablus home early Wednesday, one of at least 12 Palestinians seized in overnight raids across the West Bank. Amin Abu Wardeh, 46, was seized shortly after 1 a. m. when forces stormed his house in the northern West Bank city, his wife told Ma….

Bedouins shut down Rafah road
12/28/2011 – EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Bedouins on Wednesday blocked a main road in Rafah in southern Egypt [Gaza] to protest the lack of services to the area. Protesters burned tires and shut down the road to the Rafah crossing on the Gaza border, a Ma’an reporter said. He added that it was the….

Militant group claims responsibility for projectile
12/28/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A militant group affiliated with Fatah has claimed responsibility for firing a projectile at Israel from the Gaza Strip on Tuesday evening. The Ayman Judah unit of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs brigade said in a statement that the projectile was in retaliation for the murder of Abdullah Telbani, who was killed…. Related: Army: 2 rockets fired into southern Israel

UK protesters rally outside Israeli embassy
12/28/2011 – LONDON (Ma’an) — Hundreds of people in the United Kingdom rallied on Tuesday evening in front of the Israeli embassy in London to commemorate the third anniversary of Israel’s military offensive on Gaza. The rally was organized by the Palestinian Forum in the UK. Representatives from Palestinian solidarity movements spoke during the…. Related: Israel’s army chief hails Gaza war as ‘excellent’

Israel’s army chief hails Gaza war as ‘excellent’
12/28/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israel’s army chief on Tuesday marked the third anniversary of the Gaza war by hailing Operation Cast Lead as an ‘excellent’ operation. Lieutenant Benny Gantz made the remarks during an interview with Army Radio. He added that if another invasion of Gaza takes place it…. Related: UK protesters rally outside Israeli embassy

PCHR: Hamas detaining Fatah affiliates in Gaza
12/28/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Hamas security forces in Gaza summoned dozens of Fatah members in December despite ongoing reconciliation talks between the parties’ leaders, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights said Wednesday. On Monday and Tuesday, some 50 Fatah affiliates were summoned for interrogation and questioned about their participation in ceremonies to celebrate the…. Related: Abbas meets Hamas representatives in Ramallah

Gaza PM arrives in Sudanese capital
12/28/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh arrived in the Sudanese capital on Tuesday night as part of his first international tour since the siege on the coastal strip. Haniyeh told reporters in Khartoum that his visit aimed to highlight the risks to the Palestinian character of Jerusalem at the International Jerusalem….

Abed Rabbo dismisses reports of feud with Abbas
12/28/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Yasser Abed Rabbo on Tuesday hit back at media reports that he will be deposed as secretary-general of the PLO by President Mahmoud Abbas amid squabbles between the Fatah leaders. The chief of the Palestinian Liberation Organization — the political grouping currently facing reform as part of the reconciliation deal between Hamas….

PNC elections committee to start work
12/28/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A committee responsible for Palestinian National Council elections will begin work on Jan. 15, PNC head Bilal Al Shakhshir said Wednesday. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have agreed to participate in the committee, Al-Shakhshir told Voice of Palestine radio, adding that this was considered to signal that the Islamist movements would join….

Taxi driver injured after collision with Israeli army jeep
12/28/2011 – QALQILIYA (Ma’an) — A Palestinian taxi driver was injured after his vehicle collided with an Israeli military jeep in the northern West Bank on Wednesday, officials said. Civil defense crews extracted the man, who was not named, from his damaged vehicle after the crash near Azzun village in Qalqiliya district. He was moderately bruised….

Clerics clash in Church of the Nativity
12/28/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Reuters) — A Christmas cleaning of the Church of the Nativity turned into scuffles on Wednesday between rival Christian clerics zealously guarding denominational turf at the holy site. Brooms and fists flew inside the church marking the birthplace of Jesus as some 100 priests and monks of the Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic churches brawled….

Israel detains ultra-Orthodox man in bus row with soldier
12/28/2011 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel detained an ultra-Orthodox man on Wednesday on suspicion of calling a woman soldier a “whore” on a public bus for refusing his appeals that she move to the back of the vehicle, a police spokesman said. The incident came days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to crack down on acts of….

Egypt’s Mubarak trial resumes after delay
12/28/2011 – CAIRO (Reuters) — The trial of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, charged with the killing of protesters and abuse of power, resumed on Wednesday following a delay of almost two months while lawyers demanded a new judge. Mubarak, his two sons, the former interior minister and senior police officers face a range of charges including involvement….

Head of Syria monitors says ‘nothing frightening’ in Homs
12/28/2011 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — Arab League monitors aiming to verify whether Syria is ending a military crackdown on protesters said they saw “nothing frightening” in an initial visit to the protest hotbed of Homs although a long investigation would be needed. Given the brief and limited nature of the monitors’ tour on Tuesday, the comments by….

Saudi prince to move Rotana, TV news channels to Bahrain
12/28/2011 – DUBAI (Reuters) — Saudi billionaire prince Alwaleed bin Talal will move his Rotana entertainment company and a new Arabic television channel to Bahrain, a move that reflects Saudi efforts to back Bahrain’s government after its economy was hit by protests.” They are expected to serve as an anchor in the new Manama-based Media City….

Yemen rivals fight over Saleh deal
12/28/2011 – SANAA (Reuters) — Foes and backers of a plan to ease Yemen’s president out of power fought each other with stones and clubs on Tuesday, deepening the country’s chaos as Washington considered a request from the leader to fly to the United States. Youth activists, who have led months of protests against….

Shooting erupts in Syrian city ahead of Arab visit
12/28/2011 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — At least seven people were wounded on Wednesday in the Syrian city of Hama when security forces used live ammunition and tear gas to disperse a protest against President Bashar Assad, just a day before a visit by Arab monitors, a rights group said. Live pictures on Al Jazeera television showed gunfire and….

Israel approves east Jerusalem settlements
AlJazeera 28 Dec 2011 – Jerusalem municipality approves construction of 130 homes in a move Palestinians say would further isolate Bethlehem.

International Solidarity Movement

28 December 2008: The Abu Taima family
12/28/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – 27 December 2011, Palestinian Center for Human Rights – “Living under occupation means that whatever hopes we have, it will fall apart one day. For example, you bring up your child and put all of your hopes in him or her, but then they come and kill your child and all your hopes are destroyed.”- In…. Related: Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Al Jab’a: ‘If the judge is your enemy, who are you going to complain to’
12/28/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – By Sarah Morand, 28 December 2011, International Solidarity Movement, West Bank –  At first sight Al Jab’a appears as an idyllic Palestinian village, and sitting in a lovely garden under big olive trees, this seems like a perfect escape to the country side: white houses, friendly people, nice nature, and a splendid view until….

Demanding release of Yousef Abdul Haq, lawyer
12/28/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – 28 December 2011, Palestinian Cultural Enlightenment Forum, Dr. Yousef Abdul Haq – The lawyer Yousef Abdul Haq (Abu Shaddad), professor at the An Najah National University, and coordinator, former President of the Governing Council of the Tanweer Forum, was arrested Wednesday 7/12/2011 at three o’clock in the morning. We in the Palestinian….

Gaza will not kneel
12/28/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – 27 December 2011, Palestine’s Youth – Local Initiative – the Popular Resistance Activists, Gaza – Palestine – Twenty-three consecutive days of horrendous attacks on the Gaza Strip by the IOF (Israeli Occupation Forces) left more than 1500 Palestinians dead and many more injured.   Most of the victims were women, children and elderly people. According to the IOF….

Israeli navy attacks international observers, injures Palestinian, on monitoring boat in Gaza waters
12/28/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – 28 December 2011, Civil Peace Service Gaza – At 10:55 am, an Israeli naval warship attacked the international observers and Palestinian captain of the Civil Peace Service Gaza (CPSGAZA) boat Oliva, injuring its captain in an apparent attempt to capsize it.”The Israeli navy passed near us and the fishermen, and started to go around…. Related: Source: Civil Peace Service Gaza


Fearing budget cuts, Israeli prisons dump electronic bracelets
Ha’aretz – 28 Dec 2011

IDF confirms preparations for extensive future Gaza military action
Ha’aretz – 28 Dec 2011

Ron Paul tells Haaretz: I am not an anti-Semite
Ha’aretz – 28 Dec 2011

Palestinians offer to renew Israel peace talks without settlement freeze, official says
Ha’aretz – 28 Dec 2011

Top Israeli rabbi: Gender segregated buses go against Jewish Law
Ha’aretz – 28 Dec 2011

Jerusalem approves 130 new housing units beyond Green Line
Ha’aretz – 28 Dec 2011

Netanyahu: Israel will fight harassment of women in the public sphere
Ha’aretz – 28 Dec 2011

U.S. presidential hopefuls attack Ron Paul for objection to Iran nuclear strike
Ha’aretz – 28 Dec 2011

U.S. Navy: We will not allow Iran to stop flow of oil
Ha’aretz – 28 Dec 2011

Israel ends collective protection of Ivory Coast asylum seekers
Ha’aretz – 28 Dec 2011

Israeli female soldier accosted for rebuffing Haredi bus segregation
Ha’aretz – 28 Dec 2011

Syria moves detainees away from reach of Arab League monitors, activists say
Ha’aretz – 28 Dec 2011

Israel, U.S. discuss triggers for military strike on Iran
Ha’aretz – 28 Dec 2011

Iran could easily block vital oil route, admiral warns
Ha’aretz – 28 Dec 2011

Egypt’s Mubarak trial resumes after delay
Ha’aretz – 28 Dec 2011

North Korea stages funeral for leader Kim Jong-il
Ha’aretz – 28 Dec 2011

Silwan residents blame right-wing group for collapse of tunnel near mosque
Ha’aretz – 27 Dec 2011

First gathering of Tel Hai descendants sheds light on lesser-known Israeli heroes
Ha’aretz – 27 Dec 2011

For the first time in history, Arab farmers hatch official Israel egg license
Ha’aretz – 27 Dec 2011

Jerusalem peddlers buckle as municipality targets Old City vendors
Ha’aretz – 27 Dec 2011

High Court says Israel can take advantage of West Bank resources
Ha’aretz – 27 Dec 2011

As rallies subside, Beit Shemesh residents fear a battle long lost
Ha’aretz – 27 Dec 2011

Israel Police: Jerusalem yeshiva students linked to attack on West Bank base
Ha’aretz – 27 Dec 2011

IDF chief: Gaza war against Hamas was an ‘excellent’ operation
Ha’aretz – 27 Dec 2011

Jerusalem Post

‘Tzohar Bill’ passes preliminary vote
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Netanyahu accidentally votes against measure; Livni: PM’s move was intentional, to appease haredim.

Changing the ‘driving culture’
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Tough penalties to reduce road accidents set to begin in May.

Tel Aviv demonstrators call to end degradation of women
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Over a hundred protesters march from Habimah Theater to Independence Hall in support of women’s rights.

Netanyahu warns against anti-haredi, settler incitement
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – PM: Only a small minority caused recent violence.

Netanyahu hasn’t decided on dividing the city
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Yacimovich: PM shouldn’t surrender Zionism to haredim.

Beit Shemesh rally ‘a success’ say protest leaders
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Police should be protecting schoolgirls, not us, organizer says.

Who’s being pushed to the back of the bus?
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – I know I am supposed to feel like a repressed, suppressed, oppressed and perhaps depressed victim. But what if I don’t?

Agreement reached with state to save Ramat Gilad outpost
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Government agrees to authorize retroactively Ramat Gilad outpost homes located on state land in West Bank; Ramat Gilad residents will voluntarily remove nine outpost structures.

The year that was– the best and the worst
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Washington Watch: It was a good year for the Arab street; it was a bad year for dictators.

Blood libel: The myth of ‘private Palestinian land’
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Because land on which most settlements are built is not agriculturally useful, Arabs did not claim ownership until recently.

Israel must choose between settlements and peace
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – 2011 showed the world that creating positive momentum in support of Palestinian self-determination is possible.

Candidly Speaking: Israel losing war of ideas
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Our adversaries attract sympathy as underdogs, yet carry enormous economic and political clout.

David Broza, citizen of the world
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – ‘I’m trying to get to places where there’s not a chance Israeli music will ever be played,’ says Broza.

Media Comment: The named and the nameless
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Gender discrimination be exposed and dealt with, but it is unfair to put the whole onus on one community.

‘Police can’t stamp out radicalism among haredim’
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Police commanders reject attempts to portray exclusion of women as problem law enforcement can fully solve.

Conflict management requires tough decisions
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Inside Out: Ya’alon, Lieberman agree on strategy of managing the conflict, not resolving it.

The nationhood storm in a teacup
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Validity of Palestinian claims to statehood are not affected one iota by external definitions.

Conversations with PETA about Jewish ritual slaughter
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Injustices in the world of kashrut, on both sides, must be corrected.

Green groups attempt to stop Samar sand mining
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Dozens of activists block company bulldozers from mining in area, leading to at least nine arrests.

PM: Don’t eulogize Trajtenberg Report yet
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Netanyahu: We need to defend our citizens and our budget; Mofaz criticizes NIS 1.67b. defense budget addition.

More Israelis, Palestinians support 2-state solution
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Hebrew University poll finds that 58% of Israelis and 50% of Palestinians support the 2001 Clinton Parameters.

Bloggers drag US think tank into scandal
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Historian says ‘Israel Firsters’ sobriquet stokes the classical anti-Semitic dual-loyalty charge.

Shooting erupts in Syrian city ahead of Arab visit
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Live pictures on Al Jazeera show gunfire, black smoke rising in Hama streets day before Arab League mission arrives.

US 5th Fleet won’t allow disruption in Hormuz
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Statement comes in response to Iranian warning that it will close the strait in case of oil sanctions.

‘Drive to kidnap IDF soldiers up since Schalit deal’
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – On 3rd anniversary of Cast Lead, senior IDF commander says terror groups in Gaza working to abduct soldiers, digging tunnels.

‘Syrians refuse to meet monitors in hotspot area’
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Arab League monitors withdraw from area, won’t enter Homs neighborhood without being escorted by Lt.-Col. Mudeen Neda.

Female MK to sit at front of ‘mehadrin’ bus
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Knesset c’tee plans to travel on Beit Shemesh segregated bus; hundreds in TA rally for women’s rights.

No need to learn the language
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – New translation technology developed by Haifa-based company allows people speaking different languages to have regular conversations.

‘Syria releases 755 detained in anti-Assad revolt’
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Head of Arab league monitoring team says inspectors saw gunmen in Homs, Syrian TV reports; Syrians voice frustration with team.

‘Not enough invested in child abuse prevention’
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Director of National Council for the child presents President Shimon Peres with almanac on living conditions of Israel’s children.

‘The mic is stronger than the gun’
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Israeli-Palestinian Hip Hop Band Heartbeat: Jerusalem tries to explore the power of music to build a mutual understanding.

Top shots of 2011: JPost photographer’s picks
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Marc Israel Sellem talks about his Top 7 photos of the year, including snaps from Migron, Dead Sea, and social protests.

Tibi slams US Republicans over Israel remarks
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Arab MK writes op-ed in US newspaper accusing Cantor, Gingrich, Bachmann of “hysterical vitriol” against Palestinians.

Head of Syria monitors: Homs situation reassuring
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – “Nothing frightening” in flashpoint city, Head of Arab League monitors in Syria says after 15 killed in previous day’s violence.

Egypt: Mubarak trial resumes after delay
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Ousted Egyptian president wheeled into court after trial was delayed almost two months while lawyers demanded new judge.

Who could replace Sacks?
Jerusalem Post 27 Dec 2011 – The frontrunner, according to sources in the community, is Rabbi Harvey Belovski, an Oxford grad who heads Golders Green Synagogue.

Rabbi to the stars, popular author…UK chief rabbi?
Jerusalem Post 27 Dec 2011 – The New Jersey native – and ‘Jerusalem Post’ columnist – isn’t ruling it out.

Health Ministry considers youth pain procedures
Jerusalem Post 27 Dec 2011 – Regulations coming on use of analgesics, specially thin needles to reduce pain in children and babies undergoing medical procedures.

Samar sand mining slated to begin
Jerusalem Post 27 Dec 2011 – Green groups won’t compromise.

Yishai: Arnona reforms to benefit students, families
Jerusalem Post 27 Dec 2011 – The income threshold for families eligible for arnona discounts will increase by 25 percent.

Court rejects petition to halt Israeli mining in W. Bank
Jerusalem Post 27 Dec 2011 – At heart of petition is legal question of whether Israel has a right to mine, use natural resources in Area C territories.

Police planning crackdown on Beit Shemesh radicals
Jerusalem Post 27 Dec 2011 – Hundreds of officers are being deployed to the town to reinforce the Beit Shemesh police station.

Limmud UK goers fail to break dreidel record
Jerusalem Post 27 Dec 2011 – A great miracle didn’t happen at Limmud UK when gatherers attempted to break dreidel spinning record.

J’lem committee to discuss Silwan tourism center
Jerusalem Post 27 Dec 2011 – Also on the agenda: 130 housing units in Gilo and renovations to another building in City of David.

Hamas bans Fatah celebrations
Jerusalem Post 27 Dec 2011 – Decision is taken despite recent rapprochement between the two rival Palestinian political parties.

The reality of illusion
Jerusalem Post 27 Dec 2011 – The so-called real world takes on a wondrous aspect in the Israel Museum’s ‘Magic Lantern’ exhibition.

Thousands protest ultra-Orthodox extremism
Jerusalem Post 27 Dec 2011 – “This is not only a fight for Beit Shemesh, it’s a fight for everyone in Israel,” says demonstrator.

The Guardian

Palestinians hoping to leave Gaza Strip asked to collaborate with Israel
The Guardian 28 Dec 2011 – Patients in need of treatment across border among those targeted by Israeli intelligence agency, says human rights group Palestinian patients and business people hoping to leave the Gaza Strip are being asked to collaborate with Israel…

Violence in second Syrian city ahead of Arab League monitors’ visit
The Guardian 28 Dec 2011 – • Arab League observers resume mission in Homs • Protesters reported dead in Hama • Regime releases prisoners but activists denounce ‘whitewash’ 4.26pm: Here’s a summary of the day’s main developments. Syria • Activists said that…

Israel ‘will launch significant Gaza offensive sooner or later’
The Guardian 28 Dec 2011 – Israel Defence Forces chief of staff speaks on third anniversary of start of a major three-week Gaza assault A new Israeli military offensive against Gaza will be launched “sooner or later” and will be “swift and…

Police sweep through Bethlehem church to break up scuffles between rival clerics – video
The Guardian 28 Dec 2011 – Palestinian police are called to the Church of Nativity after rival groups of Orthodox and Armenian clergymen clash in a dispute over jurisdiction inside the basilica

Israelis rally against ultra-orthodox extremists – video
The Guardian 28 Dec 2011 – Several thousand protest in Beit Shemesh, a focal point of tensions between extremist Haredi groups and a majority religious-nationalist population

Bethlehem church cleaning turns into dust-up between rival monks
The Guardian 28 Dec 2011 – One of Christianity’s holiest churches sees brawl over space by rival clergy in latest eruption in longstanding feud The annual cleaning of one of Christianity’s holiest churches sparked a brawl between rival clergy on Wednesday, as…

Inter Press Service

Arab Monitors in Syria Flashpoint Towns
IPS Arab League observers are to visit three key protest hubs in Syria as world powers have urged Damascus to give full access to monitor if the country is implementing a plan to end a crackdown on protests.


Israel approves 130 new settler homes in East Jerusalem
Uruknet December 28, 2011 — Israeli authorities on Wednesday approved 130 new settler homes in occupied East Jerusalem. Jerusalem municipality gave the go ahead to build three 12-story tower blocks in Gilo settlement, city councilor Pepe Alalu told AFP. The council also approved plans to build tourism centers in Silwan….

Arab League Monitors Blithely Ignoring Government Killing in Syria
Uruknet December 28, 2011 – This Arab League monitoring process in Syria is quickly turning into a catastrophe. After visiting Homs just as the tanks pulled out, the monitors declared “nothing frightening” in the epicenter of protest and government repression. “Some places looked a bit of a mess but there was nothing frightening,” Sudanese General Mustafa Dabi,…

Israeli navy attacks international observers, injures Palestinian, on monitoring boat in Gaza waters
Uruknet December 28, 2011 – At 10:55 am, an Israeli naval warship attacked the international observers and Palestinian captain of the Civil Peace Service Gaza (CPSGAZA) boat Oliva, injuring its captain in an apparent attempt to capsize it. “The Israeli navy passed near us and the fishermen, and started to go around us, creating waves,” said Rosa…

Israeli airstrikes kill 1, injure 10 in the Gaza Strip
Uruknet December 28, 2011 — An Israeli airstrike killed one person in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday as the coastal enclave marked the third anniversary of the Gaza war. Abdallah Telbani died and two other Palestinians were wounded by a blast that ripped through a tuk-tuk, or motorized rickshaw, in Gaza City, hospital officials said. A Ma’an…

Submission: The use of solitary confinement on Palestinian children held in Israeli detention
Uruknet December 28, 2011 – On 28 December 2011, DCI submitted five cases to the UN involving the use of solitary confinement on children held in Israeli detention facilities. This follows a recent report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture calling for a complete ban on the use of solitary confinement on children due to the…

Military Resistance 9L21: Quo Warranto
Uruknet December 27, 2011 – The last U.S. convoy rumbled out of Iraq across the border into Kuwait around sunrise under a shroud of secrecy to prevent attacks on the departing troops. When news reached a waking Iraqi public, there was joy at the end of a presence that many Iraqis resented as a foreign occupation. In…

What is to prevent Cast Lead’ from happening again?
Uruknet December 27, 2011 – In the meantime, the international community has simply averted its gaze and its responsibility. As long as the UN Fact Finding Mission’s Report continues to be buried in the UN General Assembly, and Palestinians are effectively prevented from accessing other international mechanisms of justice, there is nothing to prevent Cast Lead’ from…

Syria News – December 27, 2011 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet December 27, 2011 : The number of martyrs have reached so far today to 42 martyrs including 4 children ,17 martyrs in Homs,7 martyrs in Hama,4 martyrs in Daraa, three martyrs in each of Damascus University,four martyrs in Damascus Suburbs “Harasta ,Douma ,Saqba and Kisweh”, three martyrs in Idlib ,two martyrs in of Deir Ezzor and martyr…

The World’s Worst Human Rights Observer
Uruknet December 27, 2011 – …”I am going to Homs,” insisted Sudanese Gen. Mohammad Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi, the head of the Arab League observer mission, telling reporters that so far the Assad regime had been “very cooperative.” But Dabi may be the unlikeliest leader of a humanitarian mission the world has ever seen. He is a staunch…

Iraq snapshot – December 27 , 2011
Uruknet December 27, 2011- Chaos and violence continue, Iraq’s political crisis continues, did someone “close” to Nouri murder a journalist, Barack may not be the new Jimmy Carter (but he may be a new version of another recent one-term president), and more… Journalist Hadi al-Mahdi was assassinated September 8th. Earlier in the year, he had a run…

Under Obama, an emerging global apparatus for drone killing
Uruknet December 27, 2011 – The Obama administration’s counterterrorism accomplishments are most apparent in what it has been able to dismantle, including CIA prisons and entire tiers of al-Qaeda’s leadership. But what the administration has assembled, hidden from public view, may be equally consequential. In the space of three years, the administration has built an extensive apparatus…

New Guantanamo Commander Seeking to Diminish Detainee Rights Further
Uruknet December 27, 2011 – The new commander of the Guantanamo Bay prison is seeking to impose new rules on communication between detainees and their lawyers, despite stern objections on the grounds that they violate legal ethics and constitutional rights. The proposed rules, still in draft form, would allow a “privilege team” from the Defense Department to…

Horror of Memories: Reflecting on the third anniversary of the war on Gaza
Uruknet December 27, 2011 – …It kills me when over 1500 people, whose lives were claimed by the Israeli attack in Gaza’s War, are added to the many numbers that we have been given in the modern history. We are not numbers. We are stories. We are feelings. We are Iman Hijjo sitting in her mother’s arms…

Iraq blocs ‘talking to Iran over deadlock’
Uruknet December 27, 2011 – Iraqi political blocs have held talks with Iran over a standoff sparked by a warrant for the arrest of the country’s Sunni Arab vice president that has stoked sectarian tensions, officials said Tuesday…”Iraqi parties are contacting Iran to mediate over the Hashemi issue,” an official close to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said,…

Exercising the Right to Torture
Uruknet December 27, 2011 – In a case that has highlighted Israel’s abuse of Palestinian detainees, an Israeli military court recently acquitted a Palestinian man after it became clear that Israeli interrogators used excessive physical and psychological abuse as a way to coerce a confession from him. Ayman Hamida, a resident of Ezariya in East Jerusalem, was…

Remember These Children Mr. President
Uruknet December 27, 2011 – You’re a “keen student of history” Mr President what about the human condition and the children lost to a sordid history created by Israel and paid for by American tax dollars? Below are some of their names, the stone told me to tell you their names. God Bless you and God Bless…

Tahrir doctors: The military treated us like prisoners of war
Uruknet December 27, 2011 – The military police assaulted volunteer doctors working at the field hospital in Tahrir Square, doctors have said. The doctors say the military told them it was helping the wounded. “The military police burnt our first aid kits,” said Dr. Mona Mina at a press conference on Sunday, adding that they were treating…

Open Letter from Gaza: Three Years after the Massacre
Uruknet December 27, 2011 – We, Palestinians of Gaza, 3 years on from the 22-day long massacre in Israel’s operation ‘Cast Lead’, are calling on international civil society to make 2012 the year when solidarity with us in Palestine captures the spark of the revolutions around the Arab world and never looks back. On this anniversary we…

Gaza Strip – Operation Cast Lead Aftermath : The Al Ashi Family
Uruknet December 27, 2011 – On the morning of 27 December 2008, at approximately 11:30, Israeli F-16’s targeted a Gaza police initiation ceremony being held in the forecourt of “Arafat City”, a government complex located in Gaza City. The attack resulted in over 60 deaths and 150 injuries. This incident formed part of the wave of attacks…

Iran threatens to stop Gulf oil if sanctions widened
Uruknet December 27, 2011 – Iran threatened on Tuesday to stop the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz if foreign sanctions were imposed on its crude exports over its nuclear ambitions, a move that could trigger military conflict with economies dependent on Gulf oil… “If they (the West) impose sanctions on Iran’s oil exports, then…

Palestine: Those who inspired us in 2011
Uruknet December 27, 2011 – In December 2011, when an Israeli soldier shot him from a short distance with a tear gas canister, half of Mustafa’s face went missing. More soldiers laughed as his horrified family tried to accompany him to a nearby hospital, according to activists present at the scene. Only the mother was finally able…

  3 Years After Operation Cast Lead Justice has been Comprehensively Denied; PCHR Release 23 Narratives Documenting the Experience of Victims
Uruknet December 27, 2011 – Today marks the third anniversary of the commencement of Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s 27 December 2008 – 18 January 2009 offensive on the Gaza Strip. 27 December also marks the anniversary of the single bloodiest day in the history of the occupation; on this day three years ago 334 Palestinians were killed…

Iraq: Kurdish leader Barzani said to have 30,000-strong commando force for personal protection
Uruknet December 27, 2011 – Kurdish deputies have asked for an independent investigation over reports that Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani has a 30,000-strong commando force especially trained to defend him and his ruling party. The deputies said they wanted to know who trained this huge force and how its members were being armed and paid. At…

Bethlehem deserves more than a single voice
Uruknet December 27, 2011 – Throughout 2011, as in previous years, the British political class remained pitifully indifferent to the tragedy of Bethlehem. When the Archbishop of Canterbury moved a debate in the House of Lords in early December on the situation of Christians in the Middle East, Bethlehem received but a token mention. One individual, however,…

A request to the Arab League Delegation
Uruknet December 27, 2011 – On 20 December 2011, Lt. General Mohamed Ahmed Al-Dabi was selected as Chairman of the Arab League mission tasked with verifying compliance with measures to cease violence within Syria. Arriving in Syria on Saturday 25 December 2011, his former appointments include a diplomatic role as former Sudanese Ambassador to Qatar and ex-Director…

High Court allows Israel to mine, take resources from Palestinian Territories
Uruknet December 27, 2011 – Who owns and is allowed to use the sand and rocks of the West Bank? This question was at the center of a petition to the Israeli High Court of Justice, submitted by Israeli human rights NGO Yesh Din in 2009. Yesh Din asked the court to stop the operations of eight…

Daily Star

Turkey warns France of more action over genocide bill
Daily Star 28 Dec 2011 Turkey on Wednesday warned France it would take further action against Paris should the French senate pass a bill making it a crime to deny the 1915 mass killings of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey constituted genocide…

Activists: Syrian troops kill more protesters
Daily Star 28 Dec 2011 Arab League monitors gathered accounts about the Syrian government’s crackdown on dissent in the central city of Homs Wednesday as fresh violence flared just dozens of miles away…

Weissmuller’s ‘Tarzan’ chimp sidekick dies in Florida
Daily Star 28 Dec 2011 Cheetah the Chimp, co-star of the 1930s Tarzan films with Johnny Weissmuller and one of the world’s oldest chimpanzees, has died in Florida. He was thought to be about 80 years old.

U.S. ‘X-Factor’ winner dreams of chicken for life
Daily Star 28 Dec 2011 A soul-singing college student from Florida plans to buy chicken for the rest of her life with some of the $5 million she won on The X-Factor, People magazine reported.

Oil price falls as Saudis trump Iran threat
Daily Star 28 Dec 2011 Oil prices fell on Wednesday, after Saudi Arabia said it will offset any loss of oil from a threatened Iranian blockade of a crucial tanker route in the Middle East. The U.S. Navy warned that any…

Rockets fired at Israel from Gaza: army
Daily Star 28 Dec 2011 Palestinian militants fired two rockets from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel late on Wednesday, causing neither casualties nor damage, the Israeli military said…

Lebanese man says he’s innocent of U.S. money-laundering allegations
Daily Star 28 Dec 2011 The lawyer of a Lebanese family running a used car dealership in the U.S. state of Georgia says the family is a victim of a U.S civil complaint…

US warns Iran against closing key oil passage
Daily Star 28 Dec 2011 The U.S. warned Iran on Wednesday it will not tolerate any disruption of traffic through the Strait of Hormuz after Iran threatened to choke off the vital Persian Gulf oil transport route if Washington imposes sanctions…

Amid bloodshed, Hamas prepares to leave Syria
Daily Star 28 Dec 2011 Alarmed by bloody unrest in Syria, the Hamas militant group has pulled out many of its lower-level cadres from its Damascus headquarters and made contingency plans to move its leadership to locations across the Middle East…

Mahfoud indicted of libel, slander of Aoun
Daily Star 28 Dec 2011 The investigative judge Farid Ajib indicted Wednesday Elie Mahfoud, a former member of the Free Patriotic Movement, with slander and libel of FPM chief Michel Aoun.

Saudi women to run, vote without male approval
Daily Star 28 Dec 2011 A Saudi official says for the first time women will not need a male guardian’s approval to run or vote in municipal elections in 2015.

Egypt’s Islamists say no to Christmas greetings
Daily Star 28 Dec 2011 An ultraconservative Egyptian Islamist group says sending Christmas greetings to Christians is “against our beliefs.”

People says gay Taylor Lautner cover ‘100 percent fake’
Daily Star 28 Dec 2011 People magazine said on Tuesday that a cover apparently featuring Twilight actor Taylor Lautner coming out as a gay man was 100 percent fake.

Bosnia agrees central government, ends political deadlock
Daily Star 28 Dec 2011 Bosnia’s main Muslim, Croat and Serb parties agreed to form a central government Wednesday.

Movie crowds dip to 16-year low as apathy lingers
Daily Star 28 Dec 2011 An “Avatar” hangover accounted for Hollywood’s dismal showing early this year.

Wadi Khaled residents hold funerals, call for protection
Daily Star 28 Dec 2011 Residents of Wadi Khaled, north Lebanon, held funerals Wednesday for the three men shot and killed by the Syrian army a day earlier and called on the government to probe their deaths.

Clergymen clash at Bethlehem birthplace of Jesus
Daily Star 28 Dec 2011 The annual cleaning of one of Christianity’s holiest churches deteriorated into a brawl between rival clergy Wednesday.

Sinead O’Connor ends 4th marriage after 16 days
Daily Star 28 Dec 2011 Irish singer Sinead O’Connor has ended her fourth marriage after just 16 days, blaming pressure and disapproval from the family and friends of her new husband Barry Herridge.

Russia, Turkey clinch South Stream
Daily Star 28 Dec 2011 Russia clinched a deal with Turkey allowing it to lay the South Stream natural gas pipeline to Europe through its territorial waters.

YNet News

NASA probes to arrive at the moon over New Year’s
YNet News, 28 Dec 2011 – ….

‘Women’s exclusion threatens Israel’
YNet News, 28 Dec 2011 – Arab media takes keen interest in fight against women’s exclusion from Israel’s public sphere; ventures society’s religious radicalization ‘poses strategic threat to Israel’ ….

Congress frees $40 million in aid to Palestinians
YNet News, 28 Dec 2011 – ….

Recognize Armenian Shoah
YNet News, 28 Dec 2011 – Op-ed: With Turkey ties at nadir, time is right to finally recognize Armenian tragedy ….

Iranian exiles in Iraq agree to move camps
YNet News, 28 Dec 2011 – ….

Rival clergymen clash in Church of the Nativity
YNet News, 28 Dec 2011 – ….

4 rockets fired at western Negev
YNet News, 28 Dec 2011 – Gaza terror groups fire Qassams at southern communities. No injuries, damage reported ….

Qassam hits western Negev
YNet News, 28 Dec 2011 – ….

AG takes on women’s exclusion
YNet News, 28 Dec 2011 – Attorney General’s Office, State Prosecution to form special panel to explore punitive action against exclusion offenders ….

Tzohar bill passes preliminary reading
YNet News, 28 Dec 2011 – Bill proposing amendments to Marriage Law passes Knesset vote despite religious parties’ objection ….

‘If necessary – IDF ready for Gaza op’
YNet News, 28 Dec 2011 – Military says most of Operation Cast Lead’s goals have been achieved, but if situation in south escalates, military is ready to launch another ‘painful’ campaign in Gaza ….

Israel has a partner
YNet News, 28 Dec 2011 – Op-ed: Abbas doesn’t have to renounce Palestinian narrative to be partner for dialogue ….

‘US won’t allow disruption in Hormuz’
YNet News, 28 Dec 2011 – Fifth Fleet says will not allow any disturbance of maritime traffic in Strait of Hormuz, as Iran threatens to stop ships trying to sail through strategic oil route ….

Report: Israel, US mull Iran strike triggers
YNet News, 28 Dec 2011 – Daily Beast website says that after Israel filed official complaint over Panetta’s remark that attack on Iran could ‘consume Mideast,’ Washington assured Jerusalem it would attack if Tehran’s nuke program crosses certain ‘red lines’ ….

The Palestinian deception
YNet News, 28 Dec 2011 – Op-ed: Palestinians speak language of peace to West, preach hate and war in Arabic ….

Palestinian Information Center

IOA to transfer thousands of W. Bank Bedouins to other areas
PIC – Head and lawyer of Abu Dis defense committee Bassam Bahr said the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) intends to transfer thousands of Abu Dis Bedouins near Ma’ale Adumim to another area.

IOA turns Grand Mosque of Beersheba into museum
PIC – Al-Aqsa foundation for endowment and heritage said the Israeli government and its executive authority turned the Grand Mosque in the Negev city of Beersheba into a Jewish museum.

Arab League on Gaza: The world community should assume responsibility
PIC – The people in Gaza are paying a heavy price for the ongoing Israeli siege in their educational, health, infrastructure, economic, and construction sectors, the Arab League said on Tuesday.

Tunisian aid convoy arrives in Gaza
PIC – The Tunisian medical aid convoy “Ahrar†arrived in the Gaza Strip via the Rafah border terminal on Tuesday night after four days delay.

Attoun warns of serious Israeli schemes against the Aqsa
PIC – The exiled Jerusalemite MP Ahmed Attoun has said that recent Israeli measures in occupied Jerusalem were meant as a test balloon before embarking on serious steps in the holy city.

IOF troops raze home in Jenin, threaten to demolish 5 others in Silwan
PIC – Israeli bulldozers razed a Palestinian building and affiliated animal pens in Barta’a village to the west of Jenin on Wednesday morning, local sources said.

Haneyya arrives to an official welcome in the Sudan
PIC – Gaza premier Ismail Haneyya arrived in the Sudanese capital on Tuesday night to an official reception for a few days visit during which he is to attend a conference on Jerusalem.

IOF soldiers round up 17 Palestinians including journalist, minors
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) blasted their way into the home of Palestinian journalist Amin Abu Warda at the entrance to Balata refugee camp east of Nablus city on Wednesday before taking him away.

Rizka: Abbas received $35m for Gaza reconstruction
PIC – The Arab League secretary general Nabil Al-Arabi has handed PA chief Mahmoud Abbas 35 million dollars three months ago that were allocated for the Gaza reconstruction, Yousef Rizka disclosed.


Israel Killed 118 Palestinians, Demolished 535 Buildings in 2011, Says Official
WAFA – 16:23-RAMALLAH, December 28, 2011 (WAFA) – Israel killed 118 Palestinians and demolished 535 buildings in 2011, Wednesday said head of the Palestinian bureau in charge of the Apartheid Wall and Settlements ….

Presidency Condemns Israeli Decision to Build 130 New Housing Units
WAFA – 16:14-JERUSALEM, December 28, 2011 (WAFA) – Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh Wednesday condemned the Israeli municipality’s decision to build 130 new housing units in the East Jerusalem settlement ….

UNRWA: Israel is Legally Responsible of Reconstructing Gaza
WAFA – 16:07-RAMALLAH, December 28, 2011(WAFA) – UNRWA spokesman in Gaza, Adnan Abu Hasna Wednesday said to Voice of Palestine radio that Israel is legally and morally responsible of rebuilding the Gaza Strip. Ab….

Israeli Navy Ram into Olivia Boat, Injure International Activist
WAFA – 15:43-GAZA, December 28, 2011 (WAFA) – An Israeli navy boat Wednesday rammed into Olivia, an international boat to monitor human rights in Gaza waters, injuring an international activist, according to ….

Israeli Forces Close Main Entrance of School, Trap Students in Hebron
WAFA – 13:01-HEBRON, December 28, 2011 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Wednesday closed the main entrance of Susiya School, east of Yatta in the northern West Bank city of Hebron, trapping the teachers and students inside….

Newspapers Review: Death of Palestinian Dominates Dailies
WAFA – 12:22-RAMALLAH, December 28, 2011 (WAFA) – The death of a Palestinian in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza on the third anniversary of the Israeli Operation Cast Lead dominated Wednesday’s issue of the three Pal….

Israel Demands Palestinian to Pay Rent for Owned House
WAFA – 12:15-JERUSALEM, December 28, 2011 (WAFA) – Israeli authorities Tuesday handed a Palestinian elderly woman a notice demanding her to pay rent for the house she owns in Sheikh Jarrah, a neighb….

Israel Demolishes House, Razes Water Well, Land in West Bank
WAFA – 10:58-HEBRON, December 28, 2011 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Wednesday demolished a Palestinian house and two barracks used as animal barns in Jenin, and razed agricultural land and a water well in Hebron, ….

Israel Issues Demolishing Orders for Houses, Shops in Silwan
WAFA – 09:44-JERUSALEM, December 28, 2011 (WAFA) – Israeli authorities Wednesday handed demolition notices of houses and shops to Palestinian residents of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan , according to a….

PCBS: Palestinian Exports Increase, Imports Decrease in October
WAFA – 09:22-RAMALLAH, December 28, 2011 (WAFA) – Palestinian exports increased by 9.0% while imports to Palestine decreased by 6.6% in October of 2011 compared to the previous month, according to a report p ….

Abbas Names New Head for National Security
WAFA – 20:45-RAMALLAH, December 27, 2011 (WAFA) – President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday named Nidal Abu Dukhan as new head of the National Security Forces, replacing General Diab al-Ali, known as Abu al-Fatah, and ….

Israeli Missile Targets Motorcycle, Kills Palestinian in Gaza
WAFA – 18:49-GAZA, December 27, 2011 (WAFA) – An Israeli reconnaissance plane Tuesday fired a missile at a motorcycle, killing a Palestinian in Dowar Abu Sharkh area, in the northern Gaza Strip, according to ….

Arab League Reiterates Calls to Prosecute Israeli War Criminals
WAFA – 15:58-CAIRO, December 27, 2011 (WAFA) – The Arab League reiterated calls to prosecute Israeli war criminals, who committed heinous massacres against Palestinians during the Cast Lead Operation in Gaza betwe….

Human Rights Centers: More than 1,400 Palestinians Killed in Cast Lead
WAFA – 15:49-RAMALLAH, December 27, 2011 (WAFA) – Tuesday marks the third anniversary of Operation Cast Lead against the Gaza Strip, when Israel killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and injured around 5,300 between….

Islamic Cooperation Condemns Bill Declaring Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital
WAFA – 15:43-JEDDA, December 27, 2011 (WAFA) – The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, strongly condemned the bill on the declaration of the occupied city of a….

Israeli Authorities Close Mosque, Kindergarten and Shops in Silwan
WAFA – 15:36-JERUSALEM, December 27, 2011 (WAFA) – The Israeli authorities Tuesday closed Al-Ain Mosque, the oldest mosque in Silwan, a nearby kindergarten, and several shops located in the main street of Wadi Hel….

Israeli Forces Storm Area South of Nablus
WAFA – 12:21-NABLUS, December 27, 2011 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Tuesday stormed al-Tour, an area south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus and tightened its procedures at checkpoints stationed at the vicinity ….

Israeli Forces Open Fire at Agricultural Land North of Gaza
WAFA – 12:19-GAZA, December 27, 2011 (WAFA) – Israeli forces late Monday night opened fire at agricultural land east of the town of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza strip, according to WAFA correspondent. He told W….

Jewish Settlers Break into Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus
WAFA – 12:06-NABLUS, December 27, 2011 (WAFA) – A group of Jewish settlers Tuesday at dawn broke into Joseph’s Tomb, east of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, according to local sources. Sources told WAFA th….

Intifada Palestine

Israel: Rogue State or at the Height of Brinkmanship?
Intifada-Palestine: 28 Dec 2011 – Palestinian civilians ran for cover during an Israeli airstrike in Gaza in January. Israel’s use of enormous force in the war generated heavy international criticism (Mohammed Abed/Agence France-Presse) by Amjad Yamein / Intifada-Palestine.com Amman, Jordon – Last night, Israel conducted two air… more

Free Syrian Army Commanded by Military Governor of Tripoli
Intifada-Palestine: 28 Dec 2011 – In the wake of the “Arab Spring” and NATO interventions, both official and secret, Qatar seeks to impose Islamist leaders wherever possible. This strategy has led it not only to fund the Muslim Brotherhood and to hand Al-Jazeera over to them,… more

No Political System Can Function Without a Free Press: Mark Kingwell
Intifada-Palestine: 27 Dec 2011 – By Kourosh Ziabari Prof. Mark Kingwell is a world renowned Canadian author and philosopher. He is the associate chair at University of Toronto’s Department of Philosophy. Kingwell is a fellow of Trinity College. He specializes in theories of politics and culture…. more


Syria activists don’t trust pullback in Homs as observers visit
LA Times 27 Dec 2011 – Tuesday marks the official start of an Arab League mission to determine whether the Assad regime is upholding its promise to suspend its crackdown on protests. For a few hours Tuesday, it looked as if Syria might be starting to ease a crackdown on dissent…

Yemen president’s medical request puts U.S. in delicate spot
LA Times 27 Dec 2011 – The U.S. could help usher in a new regime in Yemen if it allows in President Ali Abdullah Saleh. But it could anger protesters who want to him to face justice. A request by President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen to come to the U.S….

Iran Threatens to Block Oil in Reply to Sanctions
New York Times 28 Dec 2011 – The threat to cut off shipments through the Strait of Hormuz comes as President Obama prepares to sign legislation that could cut into Iran’s oil revenue.

In Yemen, Anti-Corruption Strikers Demand Dismissal of Managers
New York Times 28 Dec 2011 – Strikes spread through Yemen as workers demanded reforms and the dismissal of managers over accusations of corruption linked to the departing president.

Activists: Syrian Troops Kill More Protesters
New York Times 28 Dec 2011 – Syrian security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters in Hama, killing at least six, according to activists, as Arab League monitors visited a nearby city.

Noise Level Rises Over Iran Threat to Close Strait of Hormuz
New York Times 28 Dec 2011 – The belligerent tone between the U.S. and Iran escalated over an Iranian vow to close a vital Middle East waterway for oil tanker traffic, if Western powers attempt to stifle Iran’s petroleum exports.

Tripoli Journal: Ex-Rebels Settle In at Qaddafi Playground – Tripoli Journal
New York Times 28 Dec 2011 – With the fall of the Qaddafi government, neither the government nor the rebel leadership has a plan about how to integrate the former fighters into the new Libyan state.

Israeli Girl at Center of Tension Over Religious Extremism
New York Times 28 Dec 2011 – Naama Margolese has become the face of a conflict over the influence of extremists in Israel after her story of being accosted by ultra-Orthodox men was reported in the media.

Portraits of Iraqis Making Themselves Heard in a Changed Country
New York Times 28 Dec 2011 – Andrea Bruce, a New York Times photographer, peered into the lives of Iraqis over the last months of the war and captured quietly powerful portraits that show optimism and resilience.

Challenges Emerge as Arab League Observers Begin Work in a Syrian City
New York Times 28 Dec 2011 – A heavily criticized, short-staffed team of observers was kept at bay by gunfire Tuesday as it visited the embattled city of Homs.

When will US State Dep’t demand release of 70-year-old Palestinian intellectual in failing health?
Mondoweiss – Dr Yousef Abdul Haq We’ve written before about Dr. Yousef Abdul Haq, 70, a leading Nablus intellectual who has been in an Israeli prison for 16 days. Ma’an says he was transferred to a prison hospital due to failing health (per translation by Saed Abu-Hijleh, Abdul…

NBC discovers ‘Rosa Parks’ in story about Israel’s long struggle for freedom
Mondoweiss – Two nights ago, NBC Nightly News aired one of those “struggle for the soul of Israel” stories, focusing on religious-secular tensions. Reporter Martin Fletcher explored the case of Tanya Rosenblitt, who insisted on taking a seat at the front of an orthodox bus. Titled, “In Israel…

Israeli construction in E1 is slap in the face to US
Mondoweiss – Map: Ir Amim The big news that Mondoweiss recently highlighted ( here by Allison Deger  and here by Annie Robbins)  is that construction in the controversial “E1” area in Jerusalem has restarted again, according to a Haaretz report . Completion of illegal settlement infrastructure and homes in the…

Three years later, IDF happy with ‘Cast Lead’, wants to have another go
Mondoweiss – From Haaretz:  Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz marked the three-year anniversary of Operation Cast Lead on Tuesday by hailing it ” an excellent operation that achieved deterrence for Israel vis-a-vis Hamas .” However, he warned, cracks have emerged in that deterrence over time,…

‘Economist:’ analysis of Iraq war that leaves out neocons’ Jewishness is ‘deficient’
Mondoweiss – John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt Another sign that Walt and Mearsheimer’s analysis of the causes of the Iraq war published 6 years ago is being mainstreamed. An Economist blogger with handle “MS” has jumped into the controversy over allegations of anti-Semitism levelled at writers who had…

Iran Threatens U.S. With Closure of Vital Strait If It Invokes New Oil Sanctions
Tikun Olam – What do Howard Berman, Brad Sherman, Jane Harman, Gary Ackerman and all the other Congressional water-carriers for Aipac care about the impact of their vote for closing Iran’s oil spigot, even if it might force Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation and start…

Arab League monitors find that Homs is up against terrorist groups
Voltaire Network 28 Dec 2011 – The Atlantic and Gulf media write that President al-Assad had the tanks surrounding the city of Homs pulled back, the dug out trenches filled, the corpses lying in the streets picked up and the prisons emptied, in order to conceal his crimes from the observers of…

Islamic Emirates: Syria insurgents could spark religious war
Voltaire Network 28 Dec 2011 – Voltaire Network chairman Thierry Meyssan shares with RT his first-hand impressions on what is really happening in Syria and discusses the looming threat of a religious and sectarian violence aimed to disrupt the peaceful coexistence which has historically prevailed in Syria and to throw the country…

Arab League monitors search for alleged Al-Assad government abuses
Voltaire Network 27 Dec 2011 – As usual, the Atlantic and Gulf press relays without checking the claims put out by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (London Office of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood). According to these: the city of Homs is besieged by 400 armored tanks that are shelling the ??Baba…

Displacement Looms Over Bethlehem?s Christians
Arab American Institute 28 Dec 2011 – Two new Israeli settlements, Har Homa and Givat Hamatos, will completely alter the two thousand-year-old geography and biblical landscape which connects two of the holiest cities in Christendom: Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Israeli checkpoints at breaks in the wall surrounding Bethlehem on its northern border already constitute…

Planning the Next Gaza Massacre — and Celebrating the Last One
The Magnes Zionist 28 Dec 2011 – Three years ago, the Israel Defense Forces launched a massive attack on the Gaza Strip that reportedly left over 1400 hundred dead, thousands more wounded, and devastation of an unprecedented scale — with very little damage to the attacking army, and a handful of deaths on…

A New Year’s Resolution and Some Grounds for Optimism
The Magnes Zionist 28 Dec 2011 – Well, the semester is over; things are worse in Israel (and will be getting a lot worse). My day job took a lot of my time, and I didn’t blog for a month. Two people let me know they missed my posts. That’s enough for me…

Towards a register of birth and major birth defects in the Gaza Strip: pilot registration study and environmental exposure.
New Weapons Committee 28 Dec 2011 – In Al Shifa Hospital, covering 30% of deliveries in government hospitals in the Gaza strip, along 5 months we registered 4027 deliveries. Prevalence of major structural birth defects (BD) diagnosized only clinically was 1.36%, without significant association with gender or intermarriage. We did not found the…

Clashes as Syria monitors fan out
BBC 28 Dec 2011 – Arab League peace monitors spread to various parts of Syria but anti-government violence continues, with more deaths reported.

US warns Iran on oil route threat
BBC 28 Dec 2011 – The US Navy says it will not tolerate disruption to a vital oil route as Iran threatens to shut the Strait of Hormuz if the West imposes more sanctions.

Rival priests in Bethlehem brawl
BBC 28 Dec 2011 – A turf war prompts scuffles between groups of Greek Orthodox and Armenian Christian clerics armed with brooms in Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity.

Trial of Mubarak resumes in Egypt
BBC 28 Dec 2011 – The trial of the former Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, resumes in Cairo after a delay of almost two months.

Israeli navy attacks international observers, injures Palestinian, on monitoring boat in Gaza waters
Sabbah report 28 Dec 2011 – Israeli naval warship attacked the international observers and Palestinian captain of the Civil Peace Service Gaza (CPSGAZA) boat Oliva, injuring its captain in an apparent attempt to capsize it. Related posts: Exclusive: Video from Gaza Flotilla as Israeli Navy Prepares to Intercept Boats Scottish Activist Films…

Netanyahu Rejects Peace After Hamas and Fatah Reconciliation
Sabbah report 28 Dec 2011 – Netanyahu: If Hamas joins the Palestinian government, we will not hold negotiations with the Palestinian Authority….The peace process can only advance while maintaining security arrangements, which is becoming more difficult in light of the current situation in the region. Related posts: Questions About “Hamas-Fatah Reconciliation” US…

Settlers run rampage in West Bank
Sabbah report 28 Dec 2011 – Burning mosques, burning vehicles, settlers appear to have a blank cheque to harass and aggress Palestinians, writes Khaled Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem. Related posts: EXCLUSIVE-US tax breaks help Jewish settlers in West Bank Jewish Settlers attack West Bank mosque and burn holy Muslim books In the…

A Doomsday View of 2012
Sabbah report 28 Dec 2011 – All indications point to 2012 being a turning point year of unrelenting economic crises spreading outward from Europe and the US to Asia and its dependencies in Africa and Latin America. The crises will be truly global. Related posts: Christian Zionism: The Doomsday Code Jimmy Carter…

Egyptian Anarchists and Revolutionary Socialists under attack by Libertarian Socialist Movement – Egypt
A-infos 28 Dec 2011 – It’s about time! For weeks, several internet sites, and facebook pages that belong to the Muslim Brotherhood, either officially or administered by its members, launched an attack against Anarchists and Revolutionary Socialists in Egypt trying to single them out as inciters of violence and propagandists of…


28 December 2008: The Abu Taima family
Palestinian Center for Human Rights 12/28/2011
      “Living under occupation means that whatever hopes we have, it will fall apart one day. For example, you bring up your child and put all of your hopes in him or her, but then they come and kill your child and all your hopes are destroyed.”
     In the early morning of 28 December 2008 Mahmoud Abu Taima, his wife Manal, and their two oldest sons, Khalil and Nabil were collecting zucchini from their lands in Khuza’a village, east of Khan Younis. After a few hours the two brothers went to their uncle’s farmland a few hundred meters further west. At around 8:30 the Israeli army fired a shell from the border fence which landed between the two boys. Nabil (16) was killed and Khalil was critically injured.
     “You must understand, the area was very calm. Many farmers were working on their lands. It is an open area. I saw a projectile coming from the border fence towards the farm lands. Then I heard the explosion. I immediately ran towards the place of impact because I knew my sons were in that area. By the time that I arrived, people had already put the boys on a donkey cart to bring them to the hospital,” recalls Mahmoud Abu Taima (40). Khalil was critically injured by shrapnel in the chest and limbs and underwent a life saving surgery immediately after arriving in the hospital. “While we buried Nabil we were expecting that they would bring Khalil’s body from the hospital too,” says the boys’ mother Manal (37).
     The Abu Taima family, who have their home in Abasan village, east of Khan Yunis, has been traumatized by the death of their son and brother Nabil. His parents, and 6 eldest siblings Khalil (20), Naima (18), Isra’ (15), Mohammed (14), Abdel Rahman (9), and Ibrahim (6) all have dear memories of him. “Nabil was a part of us and he had a big place in my heart. I remember him in every moment and I feel that he is present with us. Like now, when I drink tea, I remember him and feel that he is present. When I eat my meals I feel as if he is still here with us. I can never forget him,” says his father Mahmoud. more.. e-mail

Settlers run rampage in West Bank
Khaled Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem, Al-Ahram Weekly 12/22/2011
      Burning mosques, burning vehicles, settlers appear to have a blank cheque to harass and aggress against Palestinians.
     Nazi-like Jewish settlers have continued to attack mosques and churches in the West Bank as part of a seemingly concerted effort to force Palestinians to leave their homes.
     The government-backed settlers often describe their frequent attacks on Palestinians and their properties as “price tag” reprisals against the Israeli army for daring to dismantle some isolated Jewish settler outposts.
     As to why the settler terrorists choose to target innocent Palestinians, not the army, settler spokespersons argue that attacking Palestinian mosques — and to a lesser extent churches — creates headlines, and effectively highlights the settlers’ “grievances” in addition to embarrassing the occupation army.
     Another reason for the wanton terror has to do with the simple fact that the settlers can do it virtually with impunity. Indeed, despite the fact that as many as 20 mosques and six churches have been targeted of late, not a single settler has been apprehended for the attacks.
     This colossal failure, say Jewish commentators, may be attributed to two main reasons. First, lack of political will on the Israeli government’s part to harm or collide with the settlers since a confrontation with the settlers would probably bring down the government, or at least make a sizable segment of Israelis lose confidence in it.
     The current coalition government includes key fundamentalist Talmudic parties that are largely considered “settler parties”. These include the so-called National Union, which advocates ethnic cleansing of non-Jews…. more.. e-mail

Al Jab’a: ’If the judge is your enemy, who are you going to complain to’
Sarah Morand, International Solidarity Movement 12/28/2011
      At first sight Al Jab’a appears as an idyllic Palestinian village, and sitting in a lovely garden under big olive trees, this seems like a perfect escape to the country side: white houses, friendly people, nice nature, and a splendid view until you glance just 500 meters from the village’s border.
     Al Jab’a is surrounded by illegal settlements, a soldier camp, one major checkpoint, the construction of the separation wall as well as one permanent roadblock which blocks access to Jab’a’s land and the neighboring village of Surif. Since Al Jab’a only has about 1000 inhabitants and lacks a hospital, markets, and high school, the restriction of movement means that everyone has to go two to three kilometers by foot in order to do their basic shopping and to reach school, work and healthcare. Sometimes even that is impossible.
     “When my wife was pregnant and was about to give birth, they didn’t let us cross the checkpoint. They forced us to go back and my wife had to give birth at home,” Naser, a senior of the village, said.
     As Naser guided ISM volunteers through his village, the roadblock obstructing the village from free movement was visible. One women explained that since her husband is sick and she does not want to leave her children alone, she has to walk with them every 4th day to do the basic shopping and to buy milk for her baby.
     The restriction on movement should also be seen in context of everyday Israeli harassment which aim at making life unbearable in order to make people leave the village. Many houses have a demolition order as do its trees, plants, fences, walls and mailboxes. The big sign which welcomes visitors at the entrance has one and so do the two small plants that are put next to it. — See also: ISM: More about Al Jab’a more.. e-mail

Israel’s impunity challenged by torture victim in Jerusalem
Electronic Intifada: 28 Dec 2011 – Jillian Kestler-D’Amours The Electronic Intifada East Jerusalem An important precedent was recently set that could challenge the entrenched system of impunity for Israeli interrogators who torture and abuse Palestinian detainees.more

Israel: Political Mayhem or Height of Brinkmanship?
Palestine Chronicle: 28 Dec 2011 – By Amjad Yamein – Amman Last night, Israel conducted two air strikes within hours and opened fire at Palestinians, killing three and injuring ten, in the second aerial attack against Gaza in the last Month. Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz categorically stated that preparations for another offensive on Gaza is underway, calling Cast Lead, Israel’s 2008 war on Gaza that killed 1,417 Palestinians, including 926 civilians, an ‘excellent’ operation. Gantz said that another offensive must be initiated by Israel and must be “swift and painful,” and explained “[IDF] will attack when the conditions are right.” The statement comes to top Last week’s events, which witnessed an escalation in EU criticism of Israel’s policies towards its Arab population, West Bank military occupation, settler’s violence, and protests against segregation/discrimination. On the other hand, Israel relations with the rest of the world is not getting any better, with…more

Palestine: Those Who Inspired Us in 2011
Palestine Chronicle: 28 Dec 2011 – By Ramzy Baroud Mustafa Tamimi was a 28-year-old resident of the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. His meticulously trimmed beard served as the centerpiece of his handsome face. In December 2009, when an Israeli soldier shot him from a short distance with a tear gas canister, half of Mustafa’s face went missing. More soldiers laughed as his horrified family tried to accompany him to a nearby hospital, according to activists present at the scene. Only the mother was finally able to obtain a special permit from the Israeli military, which allowed her to be with her son. Mustafa’s crime? He, along with Palestinian, Israeli and international peace activists, protested the besiegement of Nabi Saleh by the illegal Jewish settlement of Halamish. Halamish has existed since 1977 and drastically grown in size and population ever since, taking over privately-owned Palestinian land. As of late, Nabi Saleh has been struggling for…more

2011: The Year that Shook the World
Palestine Chronicle: 28 Dec 2011 – By Eric Walberg – Cairo A Tunisian fruit vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, set himself on fire in a public square in a small town in December 2010, sparking protests that brought down dictators in Tunisia and Egypt, and began a tidal wave of change both in the Middle East and farther afield. Add in the 2011 American withdrawal from Iraq and failed attempts to subdue Afghanistan and Iran, and the writing on the wall for empire is written boldly — in blood. After a century of scheming in the Middle East and Central Asia by first Britain and then the US, the tables turned much faster than anyone could have imagined. As the pivotal 2011 draws to a close, it is the perfect moment to look at how we got here. The rollercoaster ride has been long and terrifying, and it is vital to understand where it is taking us. From…more

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